Hancock Maryland’s Wayne Johnson had a night to remember in the first night of “Valley Finale” action as he swept to his first career Thunder Valley win Friday night. Johnson’s win came in the Late Model portion invitation only 20 lapper, the last Late Model event of the 2011 Thunder Valley season, In other action on the opening night of the two day weekend, Rick Singleton scored his first Thunder win since he swept a program at the track in July 2007 in the Limited Late Model 20 lapper and Ray Edwards out his new Acura was in Victory Lane in the 4 Cylinder finale. The Semi Lates and Pure Stocks ran qualifying events only for their 76 lap events scheduled on Saturday at the track.
Wayne Johnson who has led many Late Model events at the track finally led to the checkered flag for the first time in his Thunder Valley career. Johnson snagged an invitation to the event by his high 2011 point finish at the track, then drew the pole for the event. At the drop of the green he got by fellow front row starter Chuck Clise and took off. Clise fell back at the start but returned after a few laps to shadow Johnson for the distance but could not effect a pass for the lead. While Clise was chasing Johnson, all eyes were on Chad McClellan as he roared into the picture. McClellan secured third place on lap 5 after some wild outside passing and then began to chase down the leaders. As the event went all green, McClellan closed the distance each lap and caught them late but ran out of laps to advance any further.
At the finish, Johnson scored the popular win over Clise and a fast closing McClellan. Greg Fetters fought his way up from tenth starting position to take fourth, followed by Gene Kain, John Britsky, Clate Copeman, Chris Rhodes, Shawn Claar and Doug Glessner.
On the first day of the two day Limited portion of the event Rick Singleton fought to the front then ran away from the field to score the win. Matt Emerick was the pole sitter and early leader. He led Mike Laughard early as Singleton moved up. Singleton took third on lap three then got by Laughard a lap later to zero in on Emerick.
After repeated attempts to get under Emerick, Singleton swept by on the outside on lap 10 and ran off to the finish.
Dan Cornman looked to be a threat to Singleton as he also came rushing through the field but his efforts were upended as he dropped out on lap 13. At the finish, Emerick followed Singleton across the line, trailed by late rallying Curtis Heath, Laughard, Corey Weaver, Bobby Watt, Ron Bottenfield, Yvette Hahn, Ryan Krause and Dale Claycomb. Singleton and Laughard won the heats
Ray Edwards purchased the championship winning 4 Cylinder car during the week then christened the Acura with another win. He got by Mike Meck at the start then had to hold off his own old car driven by Jack Theys and a fast closing Robert Pluta to the finish. Nick Zborovancik , Meck and Ron Valentine trailed. Skip Bryner, Andrew Pluta and Edwards won the heats.
LATE MODEL 20 LAPS 1 Wayne Johnson, 2 Chuck Clise, 3 Chad McClellan, 4 Greg Fetters, 5 Gene Kain, 5 John Britsky, 7 Clate Copeman, 8 Chris Rhodes, 9 Shawn Claar, 10 Doug Glessner, 11 Tom Decker, DNS Dan Lee
LIMITED LATE MODEL 20 LAP 1 Rick Singleton, 2 Matt Emerick, 3 Curt Heath, 4 Mike Laughard, 5 Corey Weaver, 6 Bobby Watt, 7 Ron Bottenfield,
8 Yvette Hahn, 9 Ryan Krause, 10 Dale Claycomb, 11 Eric Irvin, 12 Larry Foor, 13 Tom Decker III, 14 Joe Brawley, 15 Dan Cornman, 16 Sam Grindlesberger, 17 Corey Poraczky, 18 Robbie Black
4 CYLINDER 15 LAP 1 Ray Edwards, 2 Jack Therys, 3 Robert Pluta, 4 Nick Zborovancik, 5 Mike Meck, 6 Ron Valentine, 7 Phil Best, 8 Jon Gephart, 9 Doug Hostetter, 10 Andrew Pluta, 11 Dan Jackson, 12 Mike Lauffer, 13 Leroy Booher, 14 Keith Deeter, 15 John Hayes, 16 Skip Bryner, 17 Dave Lambert, 18 Patrick Brehm, 19 Tyler Beckett, 20 Sean Fitzpatrick, 21 Sterve Frederick 22 Nathan Kamistsky,